This roundtable session will begin a dialogue about the need for schools of social work to better support BIPOC faculty. As BIPOC social work faculty, who are primarily women, we often hold dual identities, as "insiders" and "outsiders." We work within BIPOC communities, sharing some common challenges, yet, we are outsiders as scholars conducting research on these issues within the academy. The various systems within which we matriculate and work, including academia, are inherently built on a foundation of white supremacy and patriarchy that often disempowers social work scholarship produced by BIPOC scholars and about BIPOC communities.
Using critical race theory (CRT), we will first discuss how race and racism impact BIPOC tenure-track/tenured faculty in predominantly white institutions (i.e., the academy) and lead to undervaluing and overburdening. Then, we will use an intersectional lens to present empirical evidence and provide case examples illustrating how being undervalued continues to oppress and disempower BIPOC scholars within academia. Panelists will focus particular attention on the following areas of this counter-narrative: (1) research epistemologies and methods; (2) personnel practices and decision-making; and (3) service and invisible labor.
The panel will conclude with discussions of recommendations for addressing these areas of oppression, such as convening a multi-university effort to re-think promotion criteria for scholars engaged in diversity, equity, and disparity work. Such an effort could have implications for the promotion of social work scholars, many of whom are BIPOC. We will also provide recommendations for addressing the effects of racism in academia (e.g., tokenism, solo status, John Henryism) at both individual and institutional levels and holding schools of social work accountable for racism.
Attendees will be invited to dialogue with the panel, sharing their experiences and ideas regarding micro-, mezzo-, and structural opportunities to improve the structures of social work academia to properly support the careers of BIPOC social work faculty. The goal of the roundtable is to initiate timely and critical discussion, leading to new, anti-racist practices of supporting and evaluating BIPOC scholarship and related teaching and service.